What to Expect During Your Baby’s Second Month of Life
If you’re reading this article, congratulations — you’ve survived the first month of parenting a baby! The unknowns and challenges of being a new parent may still give you a few bumps in the months to come, but you’ve proved that you can handle it with strength and courage.
But, your baby will continue to grow, and with this growth comes a new set of questions. You may wonder how one-month baby care is different from newborn baby care, as well as exactly what to expect with a one-month-old in your family. In many ways, how to take care of a 1-month baby is similar to caring for a newborn, but it’s always good to be prepared for anything.
To help you out, we’ve gathered some one-month-old baby care tips for your reading pleasure below.
What to Expect with a One-Month-Old: Important Milestones
Many parents are eager for developments in their new child, and who wouldn’t be? So, it’s not surprising that many of them think, “I wonder what to expect from my one-month-old baby.”
Wonder no longer: Here’s what you can expect from your baby during these 4-8 weeks of their life.
- Real smiles: While a baby may smile during their first month of life due to reflexes, babies usually begin to smile in response to their parents around six weeks of age.
- Tracking faces: Your baby will now be able to track you with their eyes and will follow objects when they move. They will even establish eye contact for a few minutes.
- Developing upper body strength: At this age, your infant will be able to move their head back and forth while lying down, although they cannot yet lift their head or chest from the ground. However, you’ll want to give them plenty of “tummy time” to help them build up these developing muscles.
- Vocalizations: Your baby will start to develop his or her voice at this time. Be prepared for cute cooing and “ah”-ing, but also be prepared for louder crying, especially if your baby becomes colicky.
- Hearing: Your baby’s ability to hear will be fully developed at this time.
Remember, each baby is unique, so it may take your baby longer or shorter to start showing age-appropriate developments. If you are in doubt about what to expect from a one-month-old baby and if your child is falling behind, talk to your pediatrician.
How to Take Care of a One-Month-Old Baby: Getting Started
There are a few important things you’ll need to know for proper 1-month-old baby care. First, know that you must take your baby to a one-month-old checkup with her pediatrician. During this time, the doctor will check your baby’s weight and height to ensure she is developing normally. Your baby should also receive the second dose of the Hepatitis B vaccine, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
In most aspects of their daily schedule, a one-month-old baby is relatively similar to a newborn. They haven’t yet settled into a day-and-night schedule, and you will need to be there for them at all hours of the day (and night, as exhausting as it may be). Fortunately, with a month spent getting to know your child already, you can now probably better identify their cues when they need something!
Still, even though you will be more comfortable with one-month-old baby care than you were initially with newborn baby care, you may have a few big questions:
How Often Should a 1-Month-Old Eat?
If you’re hoping for a 1-month-old baby feeding schedule, you’ll still need to wait a few months before your baby’s meals come in any sort of identifiable time pattern. Right now, your baby will eat whenever they are hungry — just as they did during their first month of life. Usually, this will be every two to three hours if you are breastfeeding and every three to four hours if you are formula feeding.
But, you may still ask, “How much should a one-month-old be eating?”
As long as your pediatrician determines your baby is gaining weight in a healthy manner according to their age, there is no need to worry about your child eating a set amount of food every day. Your baby will know when he or she is hungry and full; he or she will stop eating when they are ready and certainly let you know when they are hungry again.
A 1-month-old’s eating schedule should only include breastmilk or formula at this point in time. They will get all the nutrients and fluids they need from these sources. Again, your pediatrician will let you know if your baby needs to consume additional sources of food based on their checkup results.
How Much Should a 1-Month-Old Sleep?
Another big question that parents ask is, “How much does a baby sleep at 1 month old?” A continually changing sleep schedule can be the hardest change for a new parent to adjust to. However, the sleeping habits of a 1-month-old are still variable at this point, and you should not expect a predictable baby sleep schedule at 1 month old.
A typical one-month-old baby sleeps about 15 to 16 hours a day. Usually this is split up into three daytime naps and eight-and-a-half hours of sleep at night (not continuous). However, every baby is different. You may find that your 1-month-old’s sleep patterns are more consistent than you imagined, or that their sleep routine changes from day to day. This is an unfortunate but unavoidable part of being a parent, and you will still have a few months to go before you can start implementing any kind of sleep-training schedule.
As always, if you have any concerns about your 1-month-old baby’s sleep habits, talk with your pediatrician.
If you want to learn more about what to expect from a one-month-old baby, don’t be afraid to reach out to your pediatrician or other parents for 1-month-baby-care tips. More than anything, we encourage you to relax and enjoy the moment — because your baby will be a 2-month-old before you know it.